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Bulawayo Kraal Irrigation Scheme to start operations this week

Bulawayo Kraal Irrigation Scheme to start operations this week

Story by Abigirl Tembo

THE Bulawayo Kraal Irrigation Scheme, a joint venture between the Binga local community and the Agriculture and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) is expected to start operations this week after interventions by the government.

Located in Binga Matabeleland North Province, the irrigation scheme covers 15 000 hectares and once complete, it will be Matabeleland North‘s biggest irrigation scheme.

After two decades of lying dormant, the irrigation scheme is, according to Hwange District Development Coordinator Mr Land Kabome, expected to start planting crops this week, using a phased approach.

He said, “The state of progress I can say is now at 90% in terms of connectivity and we are in the right direction thanks to the Second Republic. As you can see, this scheme started 23 years ago, but with the coming of the Second Republic, we have made a lot of progress and as such, we have now cultivated part of the land. We have started cultivating and this week we should start planting.”

The locals, who are also co-owners of the scheme represented by their chairperson, Mr Taitos Mukuli, are eager to reap the rewards after years of anticipation.

“There has been a lot of progress of late as you can see, the land has been cleared and the water is now being pumped from the Zambezi River. We continue to appeal to the government to continue with its assistance so that we will be able to reap rewards from this project,” said the chairperson.

Speaking during a visit to the irrigation scheme, the Food and Nutrition Council board chairperson, Dr Ngaite Nkomo Mgeni Commended the team working on the project saying once complete, the scheme will ensure food security in the province as well as feed into the country’s vision of ending malnutrition.

He said, “I was informed that this project started 20 years ago and it seems it was bumping up and down but what I have seen and the team that is on the ground they are working hard and it will resuscitate this project and I am very sure that within the next few years, this project will be a model because I have seen even the equipment the water pumps that are being repaired what I can say they have hit the ground running to compensate for lost time.”

The reactivation of the Bulawayo Kraal irrigation scheme is expected to benefit hundreds of small-scale farmers in the area and create employment opportunities for the local community.
It is also anticipated to increase the supply of fresh produce to local markets, signaling a positive step towards bolstering agricultural production in Zimbabwe.

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